Jamaica Villa Vacation Rental vs Hotel – What’s Your Vacation Style

What’s Your Vacation Style: Jamaica Villa Vacation Rental vs Hotel?

What's your vacation style - Jamaica villa vs hotel
What's your vacation style - Jamaica villa vs hotel

So which side of the camp are you on in the vacation rental vs hotel showdown that is going on in the travel industry? What’s your vacation style?

Unless you are living under a rock, you must have heard about the vacation rental wave that is sweeping the world. AirBnB is now both a noun and a verb.

Plus, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are flocking to vacation rentals in an effort to socially distance with their own travel bubble and avoid strangers.

Have you jumped on the bandwagon yet?

How do you know if you should try a vacation rental vs hotel?

For many people, renting a villa vacation rental in Jamaica is a wonderful untapped opportunity. But, it isn’t for everyone.

Before you plunk down your hard-earned money, find out if the Jamaica villa experience is right for you or if you would be best served by staying at a hotel.


The Judgment-Free Test to Know if You are the Jamaica Vacation Rental vs Hotel Type

Answer these 12 questions, with True or False, to see your vacation style – the hotel vs vacation rental type. If you are the hotel type, you should absolutely book a hotel. If you are the Jamaica villa rental type, all you need is a link to finding the perfect one to rent.

Answer these 12 questions, with True or False, to see your vacation style – the hotel vs vacation rental type.
Answer these 12 questions, with True or False, to see your vacation style – the hotel vs vacation rental type.

What’s your vacation style?

12 Questions to Know if You are the Jamaica Villa Vacation Rental vs Hotel Type


You wish to stay less than 3 nights.

Hotels will book any number of nights. Most villas, on the other hand, have minimum rental requirement.

Many vacation rentals in Jamaica have a four-night minimum stay unless it is a near-term booking where a short stay, for example for a weekend, might be acceptable. 

Some luxury villas have a 7-night minimum. Some require a Saturday to Saturday booking. For Christmas and New Year’s, requiring a 2-week booking is not uncommon. 

If you can extend your stay beyond 3 nights, a villa might make sense for you.


You can't commit to the trip and think you should be able to cancel up until the last possible minute.

Hotel bookings are much easier to cancel than villa rentals. 

Primarily due to the difficulty in re-booking vacation rentals after a cancellation, many properties in Jamaica, as well as in other fly-to destinations, have strict cancellation policies whereby there is no refund for cancellations made less than 30, 60 or 90 days prior to arrival. For many villas, Christmas and New Year’s bookings are non-refundable. 

A few properties may have flexible cancellation policies which allow cancellation within 7 days of arrival. This is usually an enticement to get booking and are generally not offered For luxury properties.

If you do decide to book a villa, make sure you check your rental agreement carefully and get trip cancellation insurance! This is especially important in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.


There are only 1-2 people traveling together.

Unless you are fortunate enough to find a studio or one-bedroom condo or apartment to rent, you probably won’t find a villa for less money than a comparable hotel. 

If you really want to stay at a villa, put together a larger group. In general, when it comes to villas and vacation rentals, the more the merrier in terms of cost-effectiveness. A group of six or more people in total would be ideal to see the best savings.


You expect a host of activities and nightly entertainment on-site.

A hotel will almost always have more options for entertainment than a villa, especially if you want live entertainment.. 

If this is high on your list of requirements and you absolutely will not consider going off-site for entertainment, nix the villa idea, or stay at a villa that is a part of a resort or hotel complex, or one that is like a mini-resort.

Another option is to plan a special night at the villa and bring in a band or other entertainment if you like. How fun!

If you care more about on-site activities than live entertainment, don’t give up on villas just yet. There are villas, granted the more expensive ones, that have more amenities than your typical rental and even hotels of comparable standard. Some are like downright resorts in and of themselves!


You just can’t wrap your head around staying in someone else's home or bed.

Hotels, especially chains, are predictable and so you do tend to get less of that home away from home vibe. Villas, on the other hand, do tend to reflect the personalities of their owners, but so do boutique hotels!

That said, professionally run villas do not have the owner’s personal mementos lying around so you shouldn’t expect to feel like you are intruding in the owner’s personal and private space.

Hotels, in general, get way more turn-over traffic than villas do. So, if you think about it, fewer people have probably slept in the beds at villas than at hotels.


You think that just because you have paid to stay at the property you can treat it any way you like.

Villa owners expect their guests to take good care of their property because, not only is it their personal home, but the villa has to be perfect for the next set of guests who are arriving.

If you think nothing of sitting on the sofa in your wet swimsuit, without care that you leave damaged furniture for the next arriving guests, renting a villa is probably not for you.

Many villas will either charge a damage or security deposit or require damage insurance as a condition of booking.


You know your group just doesn’t get along enough to share a place and not argue about the bill at the end of the stay.

If one person is springing for the cost of the villa, then friction about splitting the tab won’t be an issue. If that’s not the case, it could get a little tricky.

Be honest with yourself. Are there people in the group who just won’t pay their fair share or who will always find something to quibble over? 

Unless you can figure out how to keep everyone happy and collect monies from the group and preserve the friendship at the end of the day, you may be better off if everyone books their own hotel room and get their own bills.


You are not willing to do your homework to make sure that you select the right property for your group.

A big source of disappointment is picking a property that is not well-suited for the group.

Don’t pick a 6 bedroom villa with all king-sized beds if your group of 12 has all single women going on a girlfriends’ getaway.

There are several articles on our blog to help you pick the perfect villa for your group. Here is one – How to Choose the Perfect Jamaica Villa Rental for Your Needs.


The word “flexible” is nowhere in your vocabulary.

Remember that travel, especially to foreign countries, may bring surprises. Don’t expect things to be just like home. 

Also, remember that, unlike a hotel where you can switch rooms if something goes wrong, a vacation rental doesn’t have that option. 

A villa or vacation rental is someone’s home. It isn’t a hotel. Always remember that. 

As a result, the same sort of things that could happen at your own home can happen at a vacation rental.

Power, internet, or cable could go down. An air-conditioning unit could stop working. A toilet could get blocked up. And of course, things can happen at the most inopportune time. 

Depending on what the problem is, a trades-person may need to be called in to fix the problem. It may take a little time to get the problem sorted out, and not for lack of trying.

There is “island time”. But more importantly, Jamaica is an island where not that many items are manufactured. Most items are imported. Some items, while they may be available on the island, maybe in the capital, Kingston, they may not be readily available in the smaller towns, where many villas are located.

Additionally, local suppliers, such as the electric, phone, internet, or water company are under no obligation to get their services up and running within a certain time. 

Ideally, though you would have done your homework and picked a place that has either an on-site or a local representative to help you with any problems that might arise. A local contact is a valuable asset!

10. TRUE or FALSE:

You are uncomfortable with or leery of unpredictable experiences.

Vacation rentals are unique and offer a different travel experience from hotels, and rightly so. 

Remember a vacation rental is someone’s home. It will have “quirks”, some of which may or may not be acceptable to you.

It is not a hotel where you can expect to find the clock, the notepad, the pen, and the room service menu in the same place in each room. 

It might, however, make up for all that by having its own tennis court that you may use whenever you feel like it, or may have a private pool that is truly just for your group or may have other amenities for which you ordinarily would have to pay extra at a hotel.

Don’t think that a string of 5-star reviews means that the vacation rental is just like the Ritz Carlton.

There is no accepted star-rating for villas and vacation rentals. The reviews generally reflect the level of experience. This is especially important in the “luxury” market. If you love staying at 4 and 5 star hotels, make sure the vacation rental that you pick lives up to that expectation.

11. TRUE or FALSE:

Having your own personal staff, including a chef and a housekeeper at a minimum, will make you feel kind of strange.

I suggest you rethink that one. 

Actually, I’d go even further and tell you to get over that really fast! Read any reviews or articles about Jamaica rental villas and you will see that the staff and their care is a key part of the whole villa experience in Jamaica. 

Don’t think of the traditional vacation rental where you have to make beds, cook for yourself, and still have to do the dishes.

Staying at a Jamaica villa is like visiting your well-to-do cousin who wants to impress you and would rather die than have you lift a finger.

Plus, villa staff know how to be discreet. They won’t be hovering over you like Grandma. They will take their cue from you. 

As a reminder, tipping is a part of the way of life here. Just as you expect to tip at a restaurant or on a cruise, you are expected to tip your staff. They work hard for it!

If you can’t understand this concept, you should not rent a villa in Jamaica. To not tip, is a major faux pas. Read this article about tipping at Jamaican villas.

12. TRUE or FALSE:

You really want to stay in a hotel but you want a better deal and figure this is a way to a cheaper vacation.

Jamaica villa rentals are not by default budget experiences; however, compared to hotels of similar category and standard, villas do tend to cost less. 

There are villas for all budgets and expectations. Make sure that your budget and expectations are aligned with reality. Read this article to see how much it costs to rent a Jamaican villa.

Be honest with yourself. If you settle for what you perceive as “second best”, chances are good that you are going to regret that decision and every thing, no matter how small, that isn’t like a hotel is going to bug you. A big part of having a fabulous experience is knowing in your heart that you chose a great place to stay.

Read this article about the value of renting a licensed Jamaica villa vacation rental.

So what's your vacation style? Which should you choose? Jamaica villa vacation rental or hotel?

What’s your vacation style? Are you the vacation rental or the hotel type? Take our judgement-free test to find out. 12 Questions to Know if You are the Jamaica Vacation Rental vs Hotel Type


If you answered “Yes” to most of those 12 questions, and the possible solutions that I have suggested just don’t work for you, you might be better off staying at a hotel rather than renting a Jamaica villa.


If you totally get the 12 points or you can have an open mind about some of the issues mentioned above, start putting your group together. I would bet that you will be a great vacation rental guest!

You are about to experience one of Jamaica’s best-kept secrets and join a group of travelers who have been in the know for years. You are about to be introduced to what many believe is reserved for the well-heeled.

All you need to do is to pick the ideal property for your group.

Get our free download – How to Pick the Perfect Vacation Rental That your Group Will Just Love.


To get the best out of your travels, you really need to know your type. It makes things easier for everybody, especially you.

If you think you might want to give a villa a try, learn as much as you can about the lifestyle before you take the plunge.

Hop over to our website and blog. There are many articles there to help you. Start here – 8 Reasons Why Renting A Jamaica Villa May Provide the Perfect Vacation Escape

So, if you are considering a visit to Jamaica and would like to stay at a villa, contact us today for more information about Mais Oui Tennis & Spa Villa, our boutique 8-BR ocean view Jamaica villa rental experience in beautiful Discovery Bay, Jamaica. Perfect for multi-generational families and groups. Rented exclusively to only one group at a time, yours!

Even if you don’t stay with us, please peruse our blog. We share a ton of valuable information which we are sure will help you have a great holiday in Jamaica

Pin for later: Should you rent a Jamaica villa vacation rental vs a hotel
Pin for later: Should you rent a Jamaica villa vacation rental vs a hotel

Til next time.

Think and dream Jamaica!

Sherry, Darrell, and Darrian

Visit our website: https://MakeItJamaica.com

Give us a call: 833-MAISOUI (624.7684) toll-free or 914.709.0457

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About the Author Sherry

Sherry & Darrell, owners of Mais Oui Tennis & Spa Villa in Discovery Bay, Jamaica, consider themselves unofficial ambassadors for Jamaica. They look forward to using their insider knowledge to help guests create priceless vacation memories. Feel free to say hi!

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About the Author Sherry

Sherry & Darrell, owners of Mais Oui Tennis & Spa Villa in Discovery Bay, Jamaica, consider themselves unofficial ambassadors for Jamaica. They look forward to using their insider knowledge to help guests create priceless vacation memories. Feel free to say hi!